The U.S health care system is provided by private and public spending. This is a system that consumes more expenditure than that of any other country but it’s surprising that the usage of these health services within this system is lower than that of other nations and the cost of health care is very high. A big proportion of the expenditure of citizens is going to healthcare as it is characteristic with unequal rights based on access to insurance and levels of income.
Other problems include lack of access, inefficiency, high cost, low quality and lack of fairness in service provision. However the same system has the highest responsiveness, high medical innovation, less cancer occurrence and higher survival rates. On the other hand the system is characterized by higher fund allocation and a high infant mortality. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2007).
The problem of the current health system is that instead of contributing to the welfare of citizens its making it worse as most of the healthcare is financed by the taxpayers after having contributed taxes. During the 1980s the deregulation of the provision of health care was the motive and in the 1990s every household was to choose from managed care plans. From the paternal model of health care provision the field moved to the system of cost and quality sensitivity that was to be monitored by the state. However due to the need for an intensively developed information system the system did not make the access to healthcare universal.
From the deficient service provision, it is evident that there is need for a system that would address the needs of all equal access and eliminate the discrepancies in access to healthcare between the rich and the poor, the different age groups, between the differently educated people and lastly to the different races (Andrews, 2007).
From this study, the U.S healthcare system has shortages in provision of outpatient care in specialty clinics among other areas that it should address. There is also lack of Hospice services for the terminally ill which are financed or subsidized by charities rather than being addressed by the government. Family planning and Parental clinics are staffed with nurse practitioners who are supposed to work in support with specialized doctors.
The public sector doesn’t engage in research geared to development but has left this to the commercial sector. There is lack of universal coverage of health facilities. The insurance network denies citizens healthcare from these institutions as they have to bear all the cost. There is also lack of an insurance system that guarantees healthcare to all citizens including dental and vision health coverage which is sold independently (Andrews, 2007).
In addition to the coverage, prescriptions for dental and visions health are handled differently from other medical services including the coverage of government programs. For this reason the demand for health insurance is very high making it inaccessible to the larger group. Another issue is the long wait time that patients face in accessing healthcare due to the overcrowding in facilities covered under their insurance policies.
The health insurance plans are age based further affecting the access to healthcare, a good example for this is the Medicare policy that covers people of 65 years and above and Medicaid that covers low income people especially children and pregnant women. The Current system has the focus of doctors on diagnosis and treatment rather than the wellbeing and needs of patients; this has resulted to exposure of patients to unnecessary risk that has further led to deteriorating doctor-patient relationship where the doctors don’t even give consideration to the patients’ medical history. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2007).
There is no universal regulatory and approval body for drugs across all health institutions. Currently there are nursing home problems that place residents at a larger health risk and as a result the discrepancy in life expectancy based on income and geography is increasing. Further the Mortality of white female dropouts has increased rapidly and dropped acutely for African American college graduates showing that the current system is discriminative.
The discriminative attribute of the current system can also been in the rise of the gap between the mortality of the educated and poorly educated attributing the mortality to obesity, high blood pressure and smoking (Health and Human Services Statistics 2006″ (PDF), 2006).The information provided is comparative of the U.S healthcare system with that of Canada, France and Netherlands. This then leads to the proposal for changes within current healthcare system so as to address the current failures through seeking for government intervention, public participation and addressing the infrastructural shortage (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2007).
The view of this proposal is to make healthcare more affordable, not fully governed by the government, accessible to all groups and more efficient. The proposal for these changes include healthcare provision by the public and private sector jointly, implementation of universal healthcare through legislation and regulation, improvement of the public transportation system to increase the access, setting minimum standards for access to healthcare, government address of the common health needs from tax collection and having a universal public health insurance plan that will address the needs of all groups (Ellen, & McKee, 2008).
With the above changes the phenomenon of varying life expectancy and mortality rates would be addressed, the health insurance needs would be low as only one plan would address all the areas and the different economic classes would have enough access to healthcare (“SCHIP Overview”, 2007).
The major shortcoming of the current healthcare is the discriminative access to healthcare based on age, education levels, economic status, and access to insurance services. This phenomenon is the major problem of this system and is addressed in the proposal with the view of having a more efficient, sound healthcare system.
As a plan of action, a universal health insurance plan addressing healthcare needs in all the areas including dental and vision which is not covered by the current system should be put into place. There should be a health plan that addresses the healthcare of citizens who cannot afford health insurance. A plan for universal healthcare provision should be put in place in addition to adapting a system that is cheaper to the individuals and draws more funds for government allocation. A step of universalizing the coverage of health facilities by the National insurance plan should be addressed in addition to making the healthcare provision welfare oriented.
List of References
Andrews, M. (2007).”The Untouchables”. Health. U.S. News and World Report. Web.
Ellen N, & McKee, CM. (2008). “Measuring the Health of Nations: Updating an Earlier Analysis,” Health Affairs, Volume 98.
Health and Human Services Statistics 2006″. (2006).U.S. Department of Health And Human Services. Web.
Kaiser Family Foundation (2007). Health Insurance Premiums Rise 6.1 Percent in 2007, Less Rapidly than in Recent Years but Still Faster than Wages and Inflation, from Press release. WEb.
“SCHIP Overview”. (2007). U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Web.